My name is Danyell Flowers, I’m originally from South Carolina. I’ve been living in NYC for 6 years and operating my company, Maven Media Management, for the last 3 years. Maven Media is a public relations + branding agency. I’m an Alumnae of the University of South Carolina, and I am also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Starting my own business was an organic decision for me. I was both freelancing and working as a publicity director for a public relations agency before I started my business. It was becoming too difficult to manage both, and coincidentally my former bosses and I had been at odds for quite some time. So, I took those two things as clear signs that I should take a leap of faith, and 3 1/2 years later Maven Media is still here and growing daily. I’m so glad that I took a chance on myself.
Learning time management between work + personal life and mastering self-care have been the biggest challenges to overcome. I have always been a hard worker, but now that I work for myself my work ethic is even more intense. If I don’t work I don’t eat, so I admittedly overwork to make sure my clients are satisfied. With Maven Media being a new start-up I am constantly building its reputation and portfolio, so I sacrifice a lot of my free time and neglect my needs in the process. To a certain extent these things come with the territory of the industry I’m in. Working in publicity is a lifestyle so the work and client needs are ALWAYS there. There is no 9-5 in dealing with the media or clients. You have to always be aware of what’s going on in the media and society to figure out how your client can be leveraged in the ever-changing news cycle we live in. My whole career revolves around making other people happy and servicing their needs because their success is a direct reflection of my success. However, in the last year-and-a-half I began to notice signs of anxiety in my body and physical/mental exhaustion. I came to the realization that while all of the above circumstances about my career are true I have to set boundaries and make time to care for myself. BECAUSE my clients’ success IS my success–that means if I am not at my best I won’t be able to give my clients my best. As a result, these last 9 months I’ve made a conscious effort to do things for me: I meditate and practice stillness the first 2 hours of my day; I exercise regularly; I wait until I have the mental capacity to answer non-urgent texts/calls/emails. I say “no” to things that don’t serve me; I do not work or communicate with my clients on the weekends or holidays; I take at least 2 Fridays off every month. I have also started working with a reiki healer and I’m actively seeking a therapist and life coach. I don’t do all of these things 100% of the time, but I am very proud of the progress I’ve made so far ( I also added 2 people to my staff woo-hoo)!
My advice for anyone starting their own business is:
Don’t fight the process; most often success is not an overnight thing. There will be broke days, there will be challenges, there will be sacrifices, there will be detours that you must take on your path. Don’t give up because these things build character and will ultimately work together for your good.
Don’t be afraid of failure or let it stop you from starting your business. Failure is inevitable, but how you chose to deal with your failures is up to you. Look at failures as teachable moments and take away applicable lessons that will help you in the future.
A delay is not a deny; trust the timing of all things in your life. It’s going to happen when it’s supposed to happen. Your only job is to keep working towards your goals and stay positive.
I can be reached on my web site at: mavenmediamanagement.com